The Rangers opted to expose the following key players; Colin Blackwell, Tony DeAngelo, Julien Gauthier, and Keith Kinkaid. It is unlikely that Seattle will take on the baggage and cap hit of DeAngelo today, and there’s plenty of great goalies available for them to select.
That leaves Colin Blackwell and Julien Gauthier as the obvious two players to choose from.
Colin Blackwell would be a great pick
Colin Blackwell was an under the radar signing by Jeff Gorton last season. He signed a two-year deal worth $750,000 per year. Blackwell’s year one was a two-way deal earning $350,000 if he were sent to the AHL (or taxi squad). In 2021-22, it’s a one-way deal only. He’s worth every penny.
The 28 year-old forward scored 12 goals and 22 points in 47 games last season and proved to be versatile playing 4th line minutes when needed. Although small at 5-9, Blackwell is a tenacious forechecker with speed who views every shift as if it could be his last. He’s exactly what Seattle would want for their bottom six.
Will Ron Francis go for the kid he drafted?
The Rangers signed RFA Julien Gauthier to a one year deal worth $775,000. He skated in 30 games this past season, picking up two goals and six assists for eight points, along with 14 penalty minutes.
In May, Ron Francis signed his first player Luke Henman. The Seattle Kraken GM was familiar with the kid who was drafted by his last team the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. Another former employee of the Canes, Robert Kron is the directory of amateur scouting and worked directly with Francis on the decision to sign Henman.
If the Kraken’s first signing is any indication of how they will approach building their team, then the Rangers are may lose Julien Gauthier over Colin Blackwell.
Gauthier was picked in the first round, 21st overall in 2016. Ron Francis who was Carolina’s GM at that time said, “He is big enough to have an immediate impact. We’ll see how things play out in development camp and training camp. Physically, he’s big enough, and he skates well enough.”
Seattle Kraken first pick revealed
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